Robber Barons Essay.docx - Paloma Velasco Mr Otttt AP US...

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Paloma VelascoMr. OttttAP US History28 March 2017The industrial revolution was marked by a critical period in which hand tools and hand crafted items were replaced with power-driven machines and technological innovations. There are two terms used to describe industrialists who benefited and benefited from society. A captain of industry was a business leader whose ways of amassing personal fortune contributed positively to the nation by economic ends or otherwise. On the other hand, a robber baron was a powerful industrialist and/or capitalist who was considered to have become rich by exploiting natural resources and workers, corrupting and bribing legislators, or through other unconventional and unethical means. Although, industrialists like Carnegie, Rockefeller, and J.P. Morgan helped advance the nation's economy at a tremendous rate, provided cheaply mass produced products to the masses, and increased efficiency in every spectrum of the workplace, they did so by sacrificing the welfare of their workers, gained wealth and power through obstruction of the law, and perpetuated a social darwinist approach to capitalism for decades to come. Their power stemmed from the working class; an unjust labor system allowed for their profit. Carnegie had little patience for labor unions. He appreciated hard work, so he expected that workers would negotiate their own pay based on their work ethic, it was a flexible “sliding scale” that rewarded the best workers. (Schweikart, Allen 447) Between 1870 and 1900, real nonfarm earnings rose more than 60%. Thus, the argument is that while pay did not seem
substantial in this period, comparatively, earnings rose substantially especially in regards to the

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